MOORHEAD — Amos Tarfa wears many hats.

He loves math and science, so he teaches.

Having a dream and witnessing the decline in academic performance across the country, he started a new school called Life Stem Academy in June this year.

Tarfa, which already lives in many of the classrooms at Moorhead’s vacant Thomas Edison Elementary School at 1110 14th St. S., which also serves as a COVID-19 testing site, is home to K-12 previous grades and homes. We offer hybrid education in schooling. Students primarily focused on math, science and coaching.

The LIFE STEM Academy is not yet accredited, but Tarfa is working with the Minnesota Department of Education and state accreditation agencies to obtain accreditation, he said.

“The existence of a school is not required, but it cannot be accredited until two years after launch,” says Tarfa. “We follow all guidelines as if we were already certified.”

Amos Tarfa has a dual role.  One is to help students in every school and the other is to grow Life Stem Academy.  Photo of him in the classroom on Wednesday, August 31, 2022.jpg

Amos Tarfa has at least two roles. One is to help students in all schools, including his home school, and the other is to grow his LIFE STEM Academy. Here are some pictures from the classroom on Wednesday, August 31, 2022.

CS Hagen/The Forum

LIFE STEM offers classes for kids twice a week in our home school. We also offer sessions for students with special needs or those who just want to master a subject.

Classes are also available for full-time students toward graduation, Tarfa said, and hopes the full-time student program will expand to accommodate 300 students in the fall of 2023. I added that I am.

COVID-19 has taken a toll on student education. Tarfa and his five teachers and his more than 20 aides want to help lost students succeed.

“Some children are falling behind and we can help them catch up. Some students don’t know where they fit in. They lose a lot of time and Too many kids don’t know where to start.

Some classes offered by LIFE STEM Academy follow a hybrid of face-to-face learning and online education, and include preparation classes for national exams such as the ACT and SAT.

The pandemic has caused many setbacks in education, but it has also opened doors to exploring new ways of learning.

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Amos Tarfa will be teaching math at the LIFE STEM Academy in South Moorhead on Thursday 1st September 2022.

Michael Vosberg/The Forum

“Online platforms are more acceptable now, they can offer a hybrid, and people don’t feel weird about it,” Tarfa said.

As soon as the COVID-19 testing grounds moved out of the gymnasium, the school offered extracurricular activities such as basketball, track and field, soccer, speed math, and chess and math clubs have already been set up.

“We’re going to be a full school option, a private school,” said medical physicist Tafa. Born in Nigeria, he immigrated to the United States in 2007 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a minor in Philosophy.

“I love the philosophy of science. At first I wanted to be a pediatrician, but instead I became an instructor helping young people,” he later completed a master’s degree in medical physics and moved to Fargo. Tafa, who came and started studying for his doctorate, said.

After teaching in public and private schools, Tafa said he wanted to do more.

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A poster of the famous scientist will grace the walls of the LIFE STEM Academy in South Moorhead on Thursday 1 September 2022.

Michael Vosberg/The Forum

“I realized that the standards in American math were pretty low. I thought, ‘Why don’t we teach math differently and raise the standards at the same time?'” . “The way we’re teaching them to practice right now isn’t working. It’s missing pieces and many students don’t understand what they want to do with their lives.”

In the age of technology, educators need to change their approach, says Tarfa.

“Teachers need to act like coaches. Many of these kids are unmotivated. Educational institutions need to go back and teach people to practice,” he said.

Tarfa remembers the day he discovered that Isaac Newton, who developed the concept of gravity, was no genius.

“And it blew my mind. But I want my students to know that they can be like Isaac Newton, too,” Tafa said.

Although STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, is the school’s focus, he seeks to incorporate his Christian faith into the curriculum so that all students can master their studies, not just achieve passing grades. I am working on it. Said.

The idea behind LIFE STEM Academy came from his experience teaching in Duluth, Minnesota. He said LIFE STEM works with a coaching organization, the Learning Institute for Excellence, of which Tarfa is part.

A full-time student pays $7,500 a year in tuition, and a twice-weekly student pays $3,000 a year, Tarfa said, with scholarships cutting that cost in half. increase.

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Amos Tarfa will be teaching math at the LIFE STEM Academy in South Moorhead on Thursday 1st September 2022.

Michael Vosberg/The Forum

18-year-old Kamigami no Ehimen graduated from Sheyen High School earlier this year. He is currently spending time in the chemistry lab at the LIFE STEM Academy studying college-level courses in hopes of graduating early with less tuition.

“Going back to public school, there were certain teachers who were there for money and stuff. Also, this school is a faith-based school and the environment is better. or follow the wrong crowd and ruin their lives,” Ehimen said.

Tafa’s hope for American schools is to help guide middle and high school students toward their personal goals so that they are excited about life after graduation.

“America has an advantage that no other place has: you can change your axis later in life. , we’re keeping kids away from it in America,” Tafa said.

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